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RDAY, JUNE 11, 1853. 



slaveholding ? Tf the powers conferred upon the 
general government are now pro-slavery, the mere 
tiiet of slaves being counted aH a basis of represen- 
tation, however impolitic, involved no guarantee of 
iSlavery itself. 

Kut where waa the proof, in the Constitution, that 
this three-fifths representation was a representation 
of slaves ? There was no evidence of this to be de- 
rived from the words of the instrument; the only 
evidence lay in an indirect ini}>licati()n. It was just 
so in regard to what was caWed the Fugitive Slave 
Clause. Notwithstanding that he might, be willing 
to admit that slaves were intended to be implied in 
the phrase 'other persons,' still, if the objects of 
the confederacy were strictly defined, and no sanc- 
tion was given to Slavery, then they would certainly 
grant that it was no sacrifice of principle to accept 
it. Such was the fact. 

The Fugitive Slave Clause waa not a power con- 
ferred upon the General Govertiment. As all the 
leading Free Soilers had expressly contended, it was 
a compact between the people of the States who 
entered into the Union. If there was any obligation 
to give up fugitives, it rested solely with the States 
the Hiselv^>ar The courts had made their decisions 
I upon jt, but we were not bound to execute any de- 
cision which conflicted with the higher law of God. 
If there were any clauses in the Constitution which 
conflicted with the straight-forward principles of 
right, we were bound to set them aside, and regard 
them as the idle wind. In the vigorous language of 
a noble New England poet (J. R. Lowell), whose 
words were familiar to thousands who live on the 
broad praires and along the mighty river of the 

• V GSt"' 



' Though we hreak our fathers' promise, we have nobler 

duties first, 
The traitor to Humanity is the traitor most accursed- 
Man is more than Constitutions; better rot beneath the sod, 
than be true to Church and State, while we are doubly false 

to God ' •' 

In saying this, he believed he spoke the sentiments 
of tree Soilers generally. When they had succeeded 
in repealing the Fugitive Slave Law, and -secured 
the right interpretation, he did not believe that it 
would be possible to prove, to the satisfaction of 
twelve Northern men, that any slave claimant had 
a right to his so-called property. It was because the 
South knew this, that they were so unwilling to 
yield the usurped power they had conferred upon 
the l-ederal Government. 

In relation to the bugbear of the power of the 
Union being pledged to put down slave icsurrections, 
he had only to quote the opinion of John Quincy 
Adams, that the carrying out of the clause in refer- 
ence to this subject would result in the eman«ipa- 
tion of the slaves, since the local law would in such 
case be superseded by martial law, and the master 
could give no evidence to prove his claim to hold 
property in his fellow-being. Now, he would ask 
them candidly to consider the results of giving up 
their jurisdiction in this matter. They tied them- 
selves hand and foot, and gave themselves over to 
the enemy. It had been justly said, that Mr. Gar- 
rison was not so much feared at the South as some 
Free Soil men. If he could sit down with a dozen 
Georgia slaveholders, or any other Southern men, 
and explain to them that these Abolitionists would 
not raise up their hands to strike out the law which 
provides for returning fugitive slaves, they would 
not give five dimes for Mr. Garrisons head. For 
his part, he felt like exercising all his rights against 
the atrocious system. He had been to the South ; he 
[had friends there; and the more he saw of the 
n fernal system, the more fully was he convinced 



to refute them. Whether the Constitution is An 

Slavery or not ; whether it goes for slave-catching . 

not; whether it grants the right of slave represei 

ration or not ; all these things are done under i 

and have been sanctioned, without a note of remoi 

strance, as a matter of course, ever since the form 

tion of the government. Now he would appeal ■ 

the civilized world, if there was ever a more glarin 

absurdity than to attempt, in the face of our nationi, 

history, in view of the injustice of this countrl 

toward the coloured race for two hundred years, 

persuade the people that they have totallv misunde 

stood the matter, and what they had supposed to 1 

black, was altogether white 1 Did not Washingtoi 

and Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, and John Mail 

shall, and their contemporaries, understand thi 

Constitution 1 Yet they held but one opinion abo« 

it. Reference had been made to the opinion expresse 

by John Quincy Adams, to the effect that, in case 

great national exigency should occur— a formidabl 

invasiori from abroad, for example— Congress won! 

be justified in abolishing Slavery, under the wa, 

power, as a measure of national self-preservation 

But this was clearly an exceptional case, and di 

not affect the question under consideration. Wha 

Mr. Adams thought of the Constitution itself, in it 

relation to Slavery and the slave trade, he has tol 

the world in very explicit language— as follows : 

' // cannot be denied— tuk slaveholdxng lords of th 
SODTH prescribed, AS A CONDITION OF THEIR ASSEN'i 
TO THE CONSTITUTION, three special provisions to se 

CURE THE PERPETUITY OF THEIR DOMINION OVER THBI] 

SLAVES. The first was the immunity, for twenty years o 
preserving tlie African slave trade; the second was thestipu 
lation to surrender fugitive slaves— an engagement positiveh 
prohibited by the laws of God, delivered from Sinai; and 
thirdly, the exaction, fatal to the principles of popular repre 
sentation, of a representation for slaves— for articles of mer 
chandise, under the name of persons. ... To call go 
vernment thus constituted a democracy, is to insult the un 
derstanding of mankind. It is doubly tainted with the' 
infection of riches and Slavery. Its reciprocal operation 
upon tne government of the nation is to establish an artifical 
majority in the slave representation over that of the free 
people, in the American Congress; and thereby to make 

THE preservation, PROPAGATION AND PERPETUATION OF 
SLAVERY THE VITAL AND ANIMATING SPIRIT OF THE NATIONAI 
GOVERNMENT.' 

Did John Quincy Adams understand his country's 
Constitution I Were his allegations entirely desti- 
tute of truth 1 Why, there was not a Court in the 
country which did not recognise the pro-slavery 
character of that instrument ; there was not a legis- 
lative body which did not recognise it ; Congfess 
had uniformly done so; and also the National Exe- 
cutive and the Supreme Court. The people had 
always regarded it in the same light, and the people, 
could not be mistaken, because it was the embodi- 
ment of their will. He (Mr. G.) deemed it inex- 
cusable to attempt to whitewash the character of 
the framers of the Constitution, by representing that 
they intended to give no sanction to Slavery, and 
declaring that they were the friends of impartial 
liberty. Such a statement was against all the facts 
of their hves. Why not seek to whitewash the 
character of the men who passed the Fugitive Slave 
Law ? The Fugitive Slave Law ! Had not the pas- 
sage of that Law convulsed the whole country i 
Was not all Europe filled with horror in view of it '' 
But, according to the logic of his friend from Ohio' 
no such Law has ever been enacted by Congress or 
attempted to be enforced by the government ' AH 
this prodigious excitement— this world-wide feeling 
of moral indignation— was the result of gross misap- 
prehension ! He called upon his friend from Ohio 
to show that the Law, so universally execrated, con- 
tained one single sentence or word which authorized 
Slave -hunting or slave- catching, or required the 
lurrender of fugitive slaves ! It referred solely to 
persons held to service or labour '—using the exact 
language of the American Constitution. Now if the 



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vords 'persons held to service or labour,' in the 
..onstitution, cannot, do not, and were never intended 
lo apply to fugitive slaves (and this is the ground 
Assumed by those who maintain the Anti-Slaverv 
Iharacter of that instrument), then it is just as cer- 
■ain that they can have no such meaning or applica- 
■lon in what is called the Fugitive Slave Law Bat 
Is It would be to outrage the intelligence of the 
lountry to deny that the express design of that Law 
Ivas the seizure of fugitive slaves, and the punish- 
oent of such persons as sought to secrete them, so 
t IS equally preposterous to assert that the Constitu- 
lon contains no compromises on the subject of 

When did the white people of this country ever 
shibU any feelings of compassion, any friendliness 
I spirit, for the coloured population ? For two cen- 
fcries, they had outraged them in every way, and 
lodden them like ashes under their feet! When 
W It been possible for them, intelligently and pur- 
bsely, to adopt a Constitution, embracing on equal 
■rms with themselves, those whom they had thus I 
Juelly despised and systematically proscribed 1 

1 This conflict with the Slave Power was not simply 
■matter of verbal criticism, but it had reference to 
li overshadowing and an all-controlling system of 
Ipression, which was to be met and vanquished by 
tnething more potent than an ingenious play upon 
brds. We have been challenged to prove^ that the 
brd SLAVE IS in the Constitution-that it contains 
lything adverse to human liberty. It is true that 
^such word is found in the instrument; neither 
U It ever contain the words ' foreign slave trade ' 
vet, for twenty years after its adoption, that trade 
Is prosecuted under the American flag, as a led- 
tiate branch of the commerce of the country— afa 
^stitulzonal right It is equally certain that, in 
|ir treatment of the coloured people, our fathers 
fre guilty of great injustice, before God. They 
not take the black man into their embrace ■ they 
I not recognise his manhood; and to this hour he 
Seated more like a leper than an American citizen, 
lo, then, it was not true that our fathers made an 
li-Slavery Constitution. In their state of mind 
^a8 morally impossible for them to do so. It was 
Itheir intention to do any such thing. Doubtless i 
Ivas a very easy thing, on that platform, for his 
Ind from Ohio to make the Constitution all Anti- ' 
Tvery; but what would the South make of if 
\l with his interpretation of it, where was the Union ? 
they suppose that the South meant to submit to 
li a criticism as that— meant to yield to an Anti- 
very interpretation of the very instrument they 
! fashioned themselves, and which was shaped 
ctly to their own liking? It was the acme of 
|ituation ! 

s for the remark of his friend, that the South 
erred the action of the old organization to that 
lie hree Soilers, was it so ? It was a novel piece 
Intelligence. If the South did not understand his 
ition, and that of the American Anti-Slavery 
lety, in regard to the Union and i;o voting, it was 
because they had not tried to make it plain 
truth was, the old organization was the only 
which Southern slaveholders respected, because 
' clearly understood the issue presented to them 
bxibly and uncompromisingly. But, as for this 
mpt to get round the bargain, this quibbling 
M words, the South hold it to be equally despi- 
and dishonest; and they would regard such 
iiterpretation as a virtual declaration of war, if 
■iiforcement were attempted. They would feci 
iselves justified in rising up as one man, and 
'ling the last drop of blood in their veins, to 
'mt the carrying out of this interpretation. Our 
■rs did agree to sustain Slavery ; the people 
lid to it ; and the instrument remains as it was 
tially, in regard to its pro-slayery compromises, 
ind those who acted with him, acknowledged 
iin, and would not attempt to cloak it; tliere- 
they could not consent to bo members of a 
Irnment that upheld it, and required acquies- 
; and participation in it. Therefore it was that 
washed their hands of it, and stood outside 
God and innoccncy, crying in the ear of the 
I, 'No Union with Slaveholders, religiously or 
'cullij ! ' (great cheering) 

r. John, T, Hii-ton defended the course and 
in of the old-organized Anti-Slavery Society, 
lid the coloured race (to which ho belonged) 

always recognised Mr. Garrison and his asso- 

as their true and clear-sighted friends, lie 

ed God for preservinj^ this Society, for pre- 

,ng and prolonging the life of Mr. Garrison, and 

ling him to speak in fitting terms of the corrup- 

iind iniquities of the slaveholders. 

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IVESTERN UNITARIAN CHRISTIAN UNION. 



At tho half-yearly meeting of this Association, 
held at Cheltenham (England), on Wednesday, 
May 4th, John B. Estlin, Esq., of Bristol, moved 
the following resolution : t S^3* 

" Thftt, at the present period of unexampled interest 
throughout the civilized world on the important subject 
of American Slavery, this meeting considers that Uni- 
tarian Christians are called upon by their principles 
and position as a re<igiaus body to respond to the 
solemn appeal of the ' British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Society,' and earnestly hopes that at the approaching 
auniyersary of the ' British and Foreign Unitarian 
Association,' a faithful and Christian exhortation may 
be addressed to our brethren of a common faith iu 
America, affectionately entreating them, in some way 
corresponding to their social influence and elevated re- 
ligious views, to bear their testimony against Slavery, 
and to use their utmost efforts for its speedy abolition." 
" That n copy of this resolution be sent to the Com- 
mittee of the British and Foreign Unitarian Associa- 
tion, with a request that they will take such measures 
for carrying it out as may in their judgment be most 
efficient." 

Resolved, " That a copy of these resolutions be sent 
to the ' British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society,' with 
the sincere thanks of this meeting for the timely and 
valuable address to Christians of all denominations, a 
document eminently calculated to aid and encourage 
American Abolitionists in their ardous and unremitting 
labours, and which it is hoped will, under the Divine 
blessing, be instrumental in arousing the Christian 
community to a sense of its duty to the oppressed 
slave." 

Mr. EsTUN said, it would be seen that the resolu- 
tion referred to the portion of the report that 
noticed the address of the " British and Foreign 
Anti-Slavery Society " to Christian churches. He 
observed that a year ago he should have felt it 
requisite, on such an occasion, to have made some 
statements explanatory of the nature of American 
Slavery, but "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has rendered 
that unnecessary ; it had instructed Englishmen 
that, to force men contrary to their will to the per- 
formance of oppressive labours all their lives, and to 
rob them every day of their daily earnings, was not 
exactly carrying out the Christian rule of " doing to 
others as we would that they should do to us," not- 
withstanding the exhortations of American clergy- 
men to the contrary : and England's heart was at 
length compelled to feel sympathy with those who 
had to see an aged mother, a Deloved sister, a beau- 
tiful daughter, separated from their dearest ties by 
men boasting of their Christianity and liberty, 
placed on the auction-block, and sold to the highest 
bidder. As the "British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Society" had paid the Unitarians a compliment, not 
always bestowed on them by their orthodox brethren, 
in considering them as a portion of the Christian 
church, he would proceed to show what -were the 
relations of tho Unitarians of America with the 
Slavery question. Compared with other religious 
sects in the United States, the Unitarians were few. 
The Baptists, for instance, had 8,000 ministers, and 
about a million church members. Unitarians had 
244 societies, of which 235 were in the eight free 
States and only 9 in the slave States. The number 
of ministers in the body was 207, of whom 200 were 
in the free States. Church members w ere variously 
estimated, from 15,000 to 30,000, probably the 
real number was between these extremes. With 
the holding of slaves. Unitarians could have but little 
connection, but the guilt of maintaining Slavery did 
not rest solely with those who claimed ownership 
n human beings. Among the Unitarians of the 
lUnited States, there stood forth some noble exam- 
les of independent spirit and Christian conduct 
IChanning's writings against Slavery were known to 
|all. The eminent and amiable Folien sacrificed all 
jhis worldly prospects to his fidelity to the cause of 
humanity. Dr. Henry Ware took up the cause to 
ome extent. The Rev. Samuel J. May, whose in- 
Iteresting conversation with Dr. Channing on Slavery 
Iforms one of the most touching anecdotes in the 
" Memoirs" published by the Rev. W. H. Channing, 
13 still labouring in the great cause'. And there are, 
also, the Rev. Dr. Furness, of Philadelphia, Dr. Wil- 
lard, John Pierpont, Theodore Parker, Samuel May, 
junior, W. H. Channing, James F. Clark, Higginson, 
Wallcutt, and perhaps half a dozen more, who have 
boldly taken the part of the slave. All these have 
suflfered for the cause; either by the injury of their 
worldly circumstances, or of their social position, or 
by the estrangement of friends ; and with these ex- 
ceptions the great mass of Unitarian ministers have 
been silent on the slaves' wrongs, while some have 
spoke in favour of his oppressor. The Rev. Theodore 
Ciapp, of New Orleans, has been quoted by Mrs. 
Stowe, in her " Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," as a 
pro-slavery divine. Mr. E. read the paragraph at 
page 65, and also some extracts from a Sermon by 
the same Minister, in which he says. " the venera- 
ble patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all 
slaveholders" — " the same God who gave Abraham 
sunshine, air, rain, flocks, herds, silver and gold, 
blessed him also with a donation of slaves." " Here 
we see God dealing in slaves, giving them to his 
own favourite child— a man of superlative worth — 
and as a reward for his eminent goodness ! " Dr. 
Dewey's revolting declaration in reference to the 
Fugitive Slave Law was universally known. Dr. 
Gannett, of Boston, had, in a printed sermon, recom- 
mended the return of the fugitive slave to his mas- 
ter. The Rev. Mr. Allen, formerly of Washington, 
now of Bangor, Maine, had printed a sermon in 
praise of the Union, urging for its maintenance obe- 
dience to the Fugitive Slave Law. As a religious 
body, the American Unitarians had never given any 
help to the Anti- Slavery cause ; on the contrary, 
they had obstructed it. Any efi'ort to have a recog- 
nition of the sin of slaveholding, and of the duty of 
taking some measures for its removal introduced 
into the annual conventions or meetings of " Ame- 
rican Unitarian Associations " have been successtuly 
resisted. The Christian Regis'er, the organ of the 
body, may fairly be classed with pro-slavery papers. 
The New York Correspondent of the London Times 
complimented it as being an honourable exception 
to the religious journals of the free States, in conse- 
quence of its having counselled obedience to the 
Fugitive Slave Law ! In the two last numbers, evi- 
dence of its hostility to the Anti-Slavery cause, and 
of its unfairness, is afi'orded by the republication at 
full length of a letter from the Rev. Edmund Squire 
of S. Boston, which appeared in the Inquirer of 
March 5th, in defence of the " Mission of Silence " 
on the Slavery question, as advocated and practised 
by the American Unitarians, while Mr. Bishop's 
able reply, in the Inquirer of March 19, is entirely 
suppressed. Ibis apathy of our brethren in the 
United States was injurious to the Abolition move- 
ment, and discreditable to them as professed Chris- 
tians, and it acted as a poison upon nearly all who 
came within its influence. Our laymen go to 
America, and return, telling us that Slavery is by 
no means so bad as it is Represented ; that the ne- 
groes are utterly unfit for freedom ; that emancipa- 
tion would derange the commercial and political 
institutions of that country. Our ministers visit 
their transatlantic brethren, and assure us that there 
is much comfort among the slaves; that the Aboli- 
tionists are occasioning mischief ; that the Unitarian 
Ministers are doing all that they consider necessary 
to put an end to Slavery, and that we, unable to 
judge of their difSculties, must not judge their con- 
duct. The last homily preached in this strain to 
British Unitarians, was in the letter just referred to, 
written by Mr. Squire to the Inquirer ; he there re- 
fers to the Abolitionists, those noble men and women 
who have convulsed the Union by their untiring 
efforts— as being " the worst foes to the slave," and 
as having " re-fastened his chains with tenfold tight- 
ness " when just falling off, and then advises that no 
direct aseression should be made on Slavery, but that 
it should be left for " Christianity " to be its victor ! 
Mrs Stowe has, however, dispelled some of these 
delusions; the Unitarian Abolitionists declare to us 
that we are as competent to appreciate the difficul- 
ties of their brethren as they are. Mr. E. was in- 
formed by Mr. Bishop that, when in America, he 
uniformly inquired what were those difficultiei which 
could not be understood in this country, but was 
never able to learn a single circumstance with which 
he was not previously acquainted ! Mr. E. spoke of 
Mr. Bishop as having done great honour to the 
British Unitarians by his protest against Slavery, in 
the Baltimore Unitarian Convention, a testimony on 
the part of an English minister travelling in Ame- 
rica, almost without example. Mr. Estlin trusted 
the resolutions he had to propose would bo passed, 
and that they might be sent by a delegate to tho 
Committee of the " British and Foreign Unitarian 
Association." Ho hoped that body would not again 
reject the appeal matje to them, as they did two 
years ago, upon the ground that tho consideration 
of such a subject would bo foreign to tho rules of 
the association. Mr. Estlin acknowledged himself 
to be one of those intolerant persons so censured at 
that time for wishing to exclude from our pulpits 
American ministers who had abetted, or been silent 
upon, the iniquity of Slavery. He did not presume 
to judge how far, in the sight of God they were 
biamable, as we could not estimate the strength of 
their temptation, or know how wo should act if 
placed in their circumstancou ; but ho did not 



understand that charity which forbade the exercise 
of our moralFperceptions, and required us to surren- 
der our power of discriminating between right and 
wrong ; ana he was so constituted, that religious 
services conducted by such ministers as Dr. Dewey 
or the Rev. Theodore Clapp, would not awaken or 
cherish any devotional sentiment in his heart. After 
an address of some length, and expressing the hope 
of having been able to show that the " Union " had 
good grounds for complying with the request of the 
" British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society," Mr. 
Estlin concluded by saying, " our Unitarian bre- 
thren in the United States may not have taken any 
direct part in persecuting their coloured country- 
men, but tho clothes of the persecutors had been 
laid at their feet ; their own garments may not have 
been dyed in the blood of the slave, but they have 
stood 80 near, and so idly, by the altar of avarice, of 
impurity, and of power, on which he has been sa- 
crificed, that they have not escaped being sp^irtkled 
with his blood; we call upon them as brothers 
descended from the same stock with ourselves, as 
speakers of the same language, readers of the same 
Bible, as Christians, as Unitarians, to go, to Wash, 
and be clean." 

The Rev. S. A. Steinthal, in seconding the reso- 
lution, said, I feel great diffidence in following a 
gentleman who, like Mr. Estlin, has devoted a life 
to the study of the intricate question of Slavery. 
We all owe him a debt of gratitude for what he has 
done in this subject ;»but I confess he has caused me 
some very painful feelings by the remarks he has 
just made. I did know that Unitarians in America 
had taken up what appears to me to be an unworthy 
position in respect to Slavery, but I was not aware 
how deeply stained our religious body was with this 
sin. W.e have heard how mtach Unitarianism con- 
duces to freedom, how civil and religious liberty is 
its standing motto ; even at our dinner to-day that 
toast was most warmly received, but here we find 
that Unitarianism has not shrunk from supporting 
the foul sin of Slavery. We have been told of hor- 
rors connected with Slavery; I believe they are in- 
separable from it ; but this is not a question of hor- 
rors ; it matters not whether fathers have been torn 
from their children, whether husbands have been 
separated from wives, or daughters sold to shame ; 
these things do occur, but this is not the question 
for us; we have to do with the great principle that 
Slavery is a sin ; that no man has a right to hold a 
fellow man in bondage for one hour ; this is the prin- 
ciple of the question, and on this I am ready to take 
my stand and meet any slaveholder or slave apolo- 
gist. Sir, the question is simple indeed ; but when 
we find that Unitarians are guilty of upholding a 
system by which this right is given to men, is it not 
time lor us to step forward and try to arrest their 



course 1 Are we not deeply interested in the mat- 
ter, if we love pure Christianity, if we love our pure 
faith "J 1 do therefore most sincerely trust that, at 
the approaching meeting of the Association, a most 
decided stand will be taken on the subject of Slavery. 
The Association is founded for the promotion of Uni- 
tarianism, because Unitarianism leads, we believe, 
to moral excellence in men, not merely for the love 
of a name, and surely a practical means of proving 
the true Christian spirit of Unitarianism must come 
within its scope. If it does not, I must say it is time 
there were a change in its constitution, and I, for 
one, shall be ready to promote it : I trust, however, 
no such step will be necessary : but that the sole or- 
ganized representative that English Unitarians have 
will prove that we, as a body, will not countenance 
so hideous an iniquity. 

The Chairman, Rev. R. B. Aspland, in putting the 
resolution, said that had it jjontained anything like a 
pledge to exclude from our fellowship those of our 
American brethren who might not accord with us on 
the subject of Slavery, he for one must have protested 
against it, even though he had stood alone in this 
course. But he saw no reason why they should not 
unite in such a resolution as that which was before 
the meeting. His hope had certainly been, at one 
time, that the Christian principle and feeling ol 
America would have put down Slavery. But recent 
legislation in the United States, and the manner in 
which the Fugitive Slave Law had been enforced, 
had convinced him that the churches there had not 
taken that noble stand for freedom which could have 
been desired ; and he feared there was too much 
reason for thinking that they were indirectly sus- 
taining Slavery, even when they did not openly give 
it their sanction and support. 






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